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Upon his peril, that I have reserv'd

To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.
Sel. Madam,.

I had rather seel" my lips, than, to my peril,
Speak that which is not.


What have I kept back? Sel. Enough to purchase what you have made


Caes. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra; I approve Your wisdom in the deed.

See, Cæsar! O, behold,

Cleo. How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours; And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine. The ingratitude of this Seleucus does

Even make me wild:-O slave, of no more trust Than love that's hir'd!-What, goest thou back?

thou shalt

Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings: Slave, soul-less villain, dog! O rarely base !?


Good queen, let us entreat you. Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this; That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me,

Doing the honour of thy lordliness

To one so meek, that mine own servant should


Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar,
That I some lady trifles have reserv'd,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity

6 seel my lips,] It means, close up my lips as effectually as the eyes of a hawk are closed. To seel hawks was the technical


70 rarely base!] i. e. base in an uncommon degree.

Parcel the sum of my disgraces by-] The meaning either is, "that this fellow should add one more parcel or item to the sum of my disgraces, namely, his own malice;" or, "that this fellow should tot up the sum of my disgraces, and add his own malice to the account."

As we greet modern friends withal; and say,
Some nobler token I have kept apart

For Livia, and Octavia, to induce

Their mediation; must I be unfolded

With one' that I have bred? The gods! It smites me Beneath the fall I have. Pr'ythee, go hence;

[To SELEUCUS. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through the ashes of my chance :2-Wert thou a

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For things that others do; and, when we fall,

We answer others' merits3 in our name,

Are therefore to be pitied.



Not what you have reserv'd, nor what acknowledg'd,
Put we i' the roll of conquest: still be it yours,
Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe,

Cæsar's no merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer'd;
Make not your thoughts your prisons: no, dear queen;
For we intend so to dispose you, as

Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep:


modern friends-] Modern means here, as it generally does in these plays, common or ordinary.

With one] With, in the present instance, has the power of by. 2 Through the ashes of my chance:] Or fortune. The meaning is, Begone, or I shall exert that royal spirit which I had in my prosperity, in spite of the imbecility of my present weak condition.

We answer others' merits-] As demerits was often used, in Shakspeare's time, as synonymous to merit, so merit might have been used in the sense which we now affix to demerit; or the meaning may be only, we are called to account, and to answer in our own names for acts, with which others, rather than we, deserve to be charged.

Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend; And so adieu.
Cleo. My master, and my lord!


Not so: Adieu.

[Exeunt CESAR, and his Train.

Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I

should not

Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.

[Whispers CHARMIAN. Iras. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done,

And we are for the dark.


I have spoke already, and it is provided;

Go, put it to the haste.


Hie thee again :

Madam, I will.

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Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,

Which my love makes religion to obey,

I tell you this: Cæsar through Syria
Intends his journey; and, within three days,
You with your children will he send before:
Make your best use of this: I have perform'd
Your pleasure, and my promise.


I shall remain your debtor.



I your servant.

Adieu, good queen; I must attend on Cæsar.

Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit DOL.] Now,
Iras, what think'st thou?

Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shalt be shown
In Rome, as well as I: mechanick slaves
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,

Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forc'd to drink their vapour.


The gods forbid!

Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: Saucy lictors Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers* Ballad us out o'tune: the quick comedians' Extemporally will stage us, and present

Our Alexandrian revels; Antony

Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness

I' the posture of a whore.


Cleo. Nay, that is certain.

O the good gods!

Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails Are stronger than mine eyes.


Why, that's the way To fool their preparation, and to conquer

Their most absurd intents. Now, Charmian?


Show me, my women, like a queen;-Go fetch
My best attires;-I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony :-Sirrah, Iras, go.—
Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch indeed:
And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee


To play till dooms-day.-Bring our crown and all. Wherefore's this noise?

[Exit IRAS. A Noise within.

and scald rhymers] Scald was a word of contempt implying poverty, disease, and filth.

the quick comedians-] The lively, inventive, quickwitted comedians.

boy my greatness-] The parts of women were acted on the stage by boys.


Enter one of the Guard.

Here is a rural fellow,

That will not be denied your highness' presence;
He brings you figs.

Cleo. Let him come in. How poor an instrument

[Exit Guard. May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty. My resolution's plac'd, and I have nothing Of woman in me: Now from head to foot I am marble-constant: now the fleeting moon' No planet is of mine.

Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a Basket.


This is the man.

Cleo. Avoid, and leave him. [Exit Guard. Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,

That kills and pains not?

Clown. Truly I have him: but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal; those, that do die of it, do seldom or never recover.

Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have died on't? Clown. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no longer than yesterday: a very honest woman, but something given to lie; as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty: how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt,Truly, she makes a very good report o' the worm: But he that will believe all that they say, shall never


7 now the fleeting moon-] Fleeting is inconstant. the pretty worm of Nilus-] Worm is the Teutonick word for serpent; we have the blind-worm and slow-worm still in our language, and the Norwegians call an enormous monster, seen sometimes in the Northern ocean, the sea-worm.

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